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Clin Microbiol Infect. 1997 Aug;3(4):468-473.

Multicenter evaluation of mycobacteria growth indicator tube (MGIT) compared with the BACTEC radiometric method, BBL biphasic growth medium and Löwenstein---Jensen medium.

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Microbiological and Virological Laboratory, Careggi Hospital, Florence.



To evaluate the new BBL mycobacteria growth indicator tube (MGIT) in comparison with other media.


MGIT was evaluated in 10 Italian centers on 433 clinical samples, mainly of respiratory origin and mainly smear positive, in comparison with Löwenstein---Jensen and with one or more other methods represented, according to participating centers, by the BACTEC radiometric method or by the biphasic BBL Septi-Chek AFB system. While MGIT and Löwenstein---Jensen were used for all the samples, 285 of them were also inoculated in BACTEC vials and 274 in biphasic bottles. Of these samples, 132 were investigated with all the four methods.


Although less rapid and sensitive than the radiometric method, the results of MGIT were equal when compared with the other two media with respect to overall isolation yield; furthermore, it allowed the detection of growth in significantly shorter times.


The results of this study indicate the value of MGIT for the detection of mycobacteria and, thanks to its extreme simplicity of use, its suitability for small and large laboratories. Its combined use with a solid medium can substantially improve the diagnosis of mycobacterial infection.

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